Flynn and Palmedo (2017)
|Flynn and Palmedo (2017)|
|Title:||The User Rights Database: Measuring the Impact of Copyright Balance|
|Author(s):||Sean Flynn, Mike Palmedo|
|Citation:||Flynn, S. and Palmedo, M. (2017) The User Rights Database: Measuring the Impact of Copyright Balance. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3082371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3082371|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study catalogues a “User Rights Database”, which is the result of a survey which was issued to participants in countries with user rights that meet a degree of openness, flexibility and generality (in line with broad fair use). 21 valid survey responses were coded in line with 20 identified categories of user rights, with an assessment of development over a timeframe of 1970-2016.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“International and domestic copyright law reform around the world is increasingly focused on how copyright user rights should be expanded to promote maximum creativity and access to knowledge in the digital age. These efforts are guided by a relatively rich theoretical literature. However, few empirical studies explore the social and economic impact of expanding user rights in the digital era. One reason for this gap has been the absence of a tool measuring the key independent variable – changes in copyright user rights over time and between countries. We developed such a tool, which we call the “User Rights Database.” This paper describes the methodology used to create the Database and the results of empirical tests using it. We find that all of the countries in our study are trending toward more open copyright user rights over time, but the wealthy countries in our sample are about thirty years ahead of developing countries on this measure. We find evidence of benefits that more open copyright user rights generate, including the development of high technology industries and scholarly publication. We do not find evidence that opening user rights causes harm to revenue the of copyright intensive industries like publishing and entertainment. We have released all of the data gathered in this project to the public under an open license to enable its use by other researchers. Our empirical findings are relevant to several major arguments for or against expansions of copyright user rights that one hears frequently in reform debates.”
Main Results of the Study
The study presents 3 main findings:
• Countries which implement user rights see an increase in the openness of these rights over time. However, developing countries may be stunted in this trend to openness with a delay of around 30 years compared to middle to high income countries. Overall, even with the integration of user rights, corresponding rights which support digital uses (such as mash-ups and remixes) are very rare.
• More open user rights correlate with higher firm revenues in information industries, computer system design, and software publishing (an increase of openness score by one unit increases revenues by 50-70% for these industries). A positive relationship is also evident between user rights openness and returns to firms which partner with US-based multinationals. There is no corresponding “cost” to these gains in more traditional copyright industries (such as book publishing, music producing etc.).
• Researchers from countries which have more open user rights produce works more frequently, and at a higher-quality than non-open countries.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the adoption of open user rights may contribute to increased industry revenue gains and scholarly output, there are other factors (such as economic, cultural, and social factors) which are necessary to foster an enabling environment for development and innovation. Instead, user rights should be perceived as a “policy tool” which may “consciously promote the ends of copyright and of society”.